Travis Scott’s Astroworld: Wish You Were Here Tour in Scotiabank Arena was my first concert in Toronto and has been one of the best nights of my eighteen years of existence to say the least. From an insane stage set up consisting of two life sized roller coasters to knowing every single one of Travis’s song that he played live, this is surely an experience I’m taking with me to the grave. It was so much more than a concert to me, it was a sign that I am on the right path with all the confusion and homesickness that can make you question being in a university fifteen hours away from home.
For those of you who do not know, I am an international student that moved here from Philippines for university. I’m Indian by nationality but drew up in Philippines. Since it is a developing country, the amount of effort and resources that they put into leisurely events like concerts is rather minimal. The artists that would come to Manila were often Top 40’s artists like Katy Perry and Bruno Mars. Rappers do not even skim that area, the closest we had gotten to getting someone beyond pop artists was supposed to be The Weeknd in December 2018, which ended up getting cancelled due to “production requirement issues.”
Don’t get me wrong though, Philippines is an amazingly musical country and I have been to concerts there like the indie band, Bastille, and I have seen Martin Garrix twice but there is just not that much R&B and hip hop presence. Being a Disc Jockey (DJ) that is strongly into hip hop and Electronic Dance Music (EDM), I had often felt rather out of place there with all my rap music and EDM drops knowing that there was not much of an audience there for it besides my supportive friends.
Thus, Travis Scott’s concert gave me that clarity that I am in the right place seeing as majority of the crowd in Toronto’s arena were screaming every lyric to his songs no matter how fast the rap was. Personally, the concert felt like a walkthrough of the last five years of my life – the good nights with friends had been trademarked with iconic Travis songs such as Antidote and Goosebumps. His songs have also been a constant through bad phases seeing as his lyrics such as “for this life I cannot change” from Butterfly Effect have been there to remind me to keep pushing through no matter how much crazy stuff life throws at you. Other songs such as Pray 4 Love with The Weeknd stir conversation about global issues such as racism as Travis raps about how he is “tired of seein’ these black kids on the face of FOX and f*ck CNN, they don’t wanna see us win.”
What made me respect Travis Scott more as an artist was that every single aspect of his production was to add depth to his art rather than showcase a spectacle. Just as his actual album contains sound samples of roller coaster noises, the actual roller coaster’s acceleration sounds could be heard through the speakers which created a sensory experience of listening to the album. Additionally, his ad libs were so hauntingly catchy that they have been stuck in my head even a week after and I can hear them when I listen to his songs.
Scott also sang one of his 2014 hits, Drugs You Should Try It, and began by explaining that he was aware that not many people in the audience would know this song but it was one of the songs that meant a lot to him during the dark periods of his life. The title encompasses the negative connotations of drugs being associated with rap, however the song is actually about Travis finding a girl that shows him life beyond that. Personally, this was one of the highlights of the concert as we got to see a different side of Travis. Just for this song, he actually put his mic on the mic stand which was a major contrast to his previous songs in which he was jumping around stage, organizing a mosh pit run-in or getting fans up stage to rap along stage with him and give them the experience of crowd surfing.
Seeing Travis live has been one of my dream since the last five years. I have talked about it so much which is probably why my parents were not pissed when I told them I spent $200 on the ticket. This concert deepened my respect for Travis Scott and his talent as he sounds amazing, if not better, live and his ability to control the crowd is breathtaking. What makes Travis unique in this age of female musicians using their sexuality as a means of branding themselves and males using dancers to keep their audiences hooked is the bareness of his stage production as the roller coasters are only there for about five out of the seventeen songs he plays live. Travis including the song Drugs You Should Try It depicts his authenticity to his art as this track is not available on Spotify or any other streaming platforms that pay artists and thus, his inclusion of it was simply for the artistic experience of it.
Post by: Vanshika Khanna